NWU Vaal faculty showcases maths and IT during 3rd annual Geexpo

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:37

Faculty showcases maths and IT during 3rd annual Geexpo

For some school learners, mathematics and science are a nightmare – something the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) aims to remedy.

Through its annual Geexpo initiative hundreds of learners from across central South Africa are exposed to the multitude of opportunities that are associated with mathematics and information science – not only as a potential field of study, but also as an exciting and innovative career choice. 

Action during the Mathematics Olympiad Robotics is an important part of Geexpo The winners of the PAT Competition
stand the chance to win study bursaries

During the Geexpo learners - from as young as Grade 7, are invited to take part in several mathematics and information sciences related activities, such as: a PAT (Practical Assessment Task) competition, a Mathematics Olympiad, a Robotics Challenge and interactive presentations by the Serious Games Institute of South Africa (SGI-SA). The latter includes mobile technologies as well as an app factory.

According to JT Terblanche, a lecturer within the School of Information Technology and one of the organisers of the event, the importance of mathematics and science cannot be stressed enough, since these subjects are compulsory if students wish to undertake further studies in a number of fields that are very important to the economy and the further development of our country. These sectors include engineering, natural sciences, information technology and medicine. “At the Vaal Triangle Campus we believe that we are the preferred choice when it comes to business and information technology,” says JT and explains that apart from showcasing the different applications of mathematics and science within a university context, learners also stand the chance to win study bursaries during the event.

PAT Competition

The annual PAT Competition runs parallel with the curriculum outcomes for learners in high school – Grade 10-12, with IT as a subject at school. The aim of the competition is to encourage learners to enter their IT PAT projects and by doing so not only monitor the standard of their projects against those of their peers, but also entice talented learners to consider a career in information technology.

Mathematics Olympiad

The Mathematics Olympiad will see learners participate in five categories, namely Grade 8-12, and participants will be tested on an array of mathematical applications.

Other activities

During the course of the event the learners will have the opportunity to meet experts within the field of mobile technologies, app and gaming developers as well as the team of the Serious Games South Africa (SGI-SA). The latter represents a dynamic unit within the School of Information Technology that enjoys international acclaim for their work on serious games such as the Mandela27 Project in conjunction with the European Union.

Schools are invited to register as many learners for Geexpo as they see fit. Please note that the PAT Competition is for learners who are in Grade 10 – 12, whilst the Mathematics Olympiad is open for any learner from Grade 8 – 12. For more information please send an e-mail to jt.terblanche@nwu.ac.za or to sune.vanderlinde@nwu.ac.za